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Teachers keep summer hols in new pay deal

TT/The Local · 7 May 2010, 07:31

Published: 07 May 2010 07:31 GMT+02:00

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The collective bargaining round became at times strained as employer group, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL), and the two main Swedish teachers' unions, Lärarförbundet and Lärarnas riksförbund, fought over proposed changes to working hours.

The main bone of contention has been the SKL demands for an overhaul of working hours, vigorously resisted by the unions. Teachers currently work 45 hours per week during term time in return for longer holidays during the summer.

After opposition from the unions the current model will be retained, while opening up for the possibility of further negotiations.

Lärarförbundet and expressed satisfaction over the agreement.

"We have gone from a general attack on teachers' working hours to securing the current working hours situation," said chairperson Eva-Lis Sirén.

Lärarnas Riksförbund reacted more cautiously.

"There has been intensive discussions and we have a number of reservations," said Mette Fjelkner, Lärarnas Riksförbund chairperson.

SKL also expressed satisfaction over the agreement.

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"It feels great to be finished and especially that we have reached an agreement focused on improving results in schools," said Ingela Gardner at SKL.

Aside from the general pay increase teachers will be able to negotiate further gains at local level.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:19 May 7, 2010 by StockholmSam
"a new pay deal affording them a 3.5 percent pay rise over 25 months and securing their long summer holidays."



3.5% over two years on pay that is shamefully low already. Now THAT will get the best and brightest students in universities to choose teaching careers.

If they want to improve student results, they need to attract top talent into the teaching ranks. They need smart teachers that are motivated by something other than summer vacation. They need teachers that inspire students toward education; teachers who the students see as role models, especially since so many parents fail in this task and expect the schools to raise their kids anyway.

Like economists and IT techs and people working in banks, teachers like to see rewards for their hard work. If there is a potential pay boost that will help them save more for retirement, a better home, a college education for their kids (outside of Sweden), a more dependable car, or whatever, then they will feel more respected and respectable. As it stands, teachers feel disrespected. This is why so few stay in teaching five years after their first teaching year.

3.5% over two years on 25000sek/month is pitiful. Teachers living alone live in poverty. Those who are married are often dependent on their spouse to provide the majority of the income and security for the future. God forbid a teacher goes through a divorce late in life. Better pay would empower teachers and make them independent, which is why we go to university and educate ourselves in the first place.
12:30 May 7, 2010 by Prat
Many teachers don't get even 25,000 sek/month...
17:17 May 7, 2010 by uunbeliever
If we bacame teachers for the money we would soon be like the nurses in Canada (and many here) fat, lazy and overpaid.

I am in my first year at Linköping Universitet and love it, not for the money or summers, but for the opportunity to teach our youth.
18:31 May 7, 2010 by darrenj
It's not that bad. I could think of a worse job. Personally I'm in it for the vacation. No amount of money can replace the quality time I get with my two daughters. Life is good.

We all wish more money. I some municipalities teachers have been laid off.

The teaching service is a huge group in this country. Pay hikes of 5 percent of more can lead to inflation!! Any simpelton knows that.
04:44 May 8, 2010 by Greg in Canada
My wife is a teacher and she works quite hard. However, over here teachers are well paid and the profession attracts high quality people. The other perks are the large amount of holidays, benefits and retirement pension..

I have no idea what the situation is in Sweden, but since most Swedes I've met seem to be quite intelligent people, I'd assume the teachers are doing a good job?
09:11 May 8, 2010 by StockholmSam

Teachers don't become teachers for the money; we are well aware of the low pay involved beforehand. Other reasons draw us to it, as you know. However, low pay is often a primary reason behind teachers jumping OUT of the profession.

Also, you are teaching at university level. You make more money than högstadiet or gymnasium teachers and your job is much, much easier.

Finally, you are in your first year. Just wait ten to fifteen years after which time you have realized how little financial security you actually have compared to your non-teacher friends. When retirement looms and you start calculating your pension and your savings, you will realize the importance of adequate pay for teachers.
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